Thinkery is where Austin’s children and their families come to enjoy play-based, inquiry-rich, hands-on learning experiences. We believe that innovative, play-based, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) learning experiences are a powerful way for children to develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and curiosity about the world around them. Our exhibits and programs encourage children—alongside their caregivers—to solve creative challenges, explore a variety of materials, and to develop new ways to complete unfamiliar projects. Through these activities, children gain the tools and confidence to develop and grow into enthusiastic, creative, lifelong STEAM learners and thinkers.
ABOUT THE ROLE
Thinkery’s Senior Instructional Coach-K-5 will actively lead professional development efforts for, both internal Thinkery staff and community wide educators with a focus on learning and skill development of inquiry-based, STEAM experiences for educators of children in grades K-5th. Knowledge and experience will encompass active learning and inquiry approaches to engage learners at the intersections of STEAM, Maker skills, Technology skills, and 21st century skill development (problem solving, creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and compassion). The manager will infuse a reflective practice that is thoughtful, iterative, and supports the learning of diverse audiences. The ideal candidate will have the ability to work collaboratively, possess exceptional organizational and leadership abilities. They will have a passion and understanding of how to support the skill development of formal and informal educators with a strong focus on underserved populations throughout the Austin area. The Senior Instructional Coach, K-5th Grade works closely with other education team members to ensure that all education staff are successful in activating programs and museum galleries with joyful, play-based STEAM experiences.
- Lead and develop Thinkery’s Professional Development programs for Elementary Educators:
- Develop and facilitate hands-on professional development workshops for K-5 educators in their classrooms focusing on integration of STEAM, Maker skills, and Tech skills
- Develop curriculum including lesson development, activity facilitation, assessment, and refinement.
- Partner in the recruitment efforts of external program participation and local school districts with support from our Marketing and Development teams.
- Plan and execute networking events and other community-based events.
- Develop educational programming utilizing Thinkery’s approach of inquiry and play-based learning in STEAM topics for museum gallery activations for children ages 5-12 years.
- Support financial stability of the museum through effective oversight of departmental programming to include:
- Budget and inventory management,
- Expense control and resource allocation,
- Collaborate with our Development team for contributed support through grant writing and reporting; and
- Data collection and analysis.
- Staff Supervision & Training-There is currently limited staff supervisions functions. Supervisory work will change as Museum programming expands:
- Lead and participate in recruiting, hiring, and onboarding process
- Lead and plan trainings for Thinkery staff relevant to pedagogy and practices supporting inquiry and play-based learning.
- Lead and plan trainings for Thinkery staff relevant to STEAM topics, including design process, scientific process, as well as specific content areas.
- Provide regular and on-going mentoring and coaching, assessment and feedback
SUPPORT THINKERY’S MISSION AND VALUES:
- Steward a culture of cross-department communication, collaboration, and support work.
- Practice and advocate for Thinkery’s health and safety protocols.
- Represent Thinkery’s key values of inclusion, excellence, respect, innovation, playfulness, cooperation, and creativity.
- Commitment to support Thinkery’s dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility initiatives.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES
- Ability to use an equity framework to develop and implement inclusive, meaningful, relevant learning experiences.
- Proven understanding of STEAM subject matter and educational pedagogy with a knowledge of current tools, trends, and technologies in maker education.
- Proven understanding of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and adult learning principles.
- Familiarity with the Austin area educational landscape.
- Inquiry- and play-based teaching skills.
- Leadership and staff management background.
- Strong organization and project management experience
- Proficiency with MS Office Suite. Experience with Google Suite, Adobe Illustrator, and/or Canva preferred.
- Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills;
- Strong presentation skills for diverse audiences.
- Bilingual Spanish preferred.
- Schedule and availability reflect that the organization is a 7-day-a-week operation. This role’s regular schedule will be Monday through Friday daytime shifts. Periodic duties outside of/in excess of regular work week schedule during seasonal high-volume times.
- Assist in engaging and sustaining Thinkery’s volunteers and interns.
- Professional attendance at some museum functions and special events.
- Dependable transportation to travel to & from program host sites in the greater Austin and surrounding area; often includes transporting materials.
EXPERIENCE & EDUCATION:
- Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (Generalist), Science, Technology, Engineering or Math Education, or other relevant area, or 4 years of equivalent experience.
- 2+ years’ experience leading and coaching early childhood educators
- Current teacher certification a plus.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. This position is active and requires traveling to multiple sites, including schools, with equipment and materials.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to:
- Observe and react to the needs of guests, staff, volunteers, and community partners.
- Move throughout the museum.
- Manipulate and move exhibit components weighing up to 35 pounds, including those that may be low to the ground or above eye level.
- Work with solutions to clean and disinfect a variety of surfaces and props of assorted sizes at various heights.
- Communicate and exchange accurate information with guests, staff, volunteers, and community partners in a variety of formats including in-person, electronically, and over the phone.
- Detect and respond to safety hazards.
- Occasionally work in outdoor environments.
- Operate computer efficiently and accurately.
Thinkery offers competitive and affordable benefits for our full-time staff including options for 100% employer sponsored medical coverage. Our benefits package includes:
- Medical insurance options including HSA, PPO Gold, and PPO Platinum plans
- Affordable dental and vision
- 100% employer sponsored EAP, STD, LTD, AD&D, and Life Insurance.
- 2 weeks of paid vacation, 4 weeks of paid sick leave, and 13 paid holidays each year.
- Pet friendly offices.
This job description should not be construed to imply these requirements are the only duties, responsibilities, and qualifications for this job. Incumbents may be required to follow any additional related instructions, acquire related job skills, and perform other related work as required. This job description may be updated as needed.
The Thinkery is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not and will not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law. Hiring, transferring and promotion practices are performed without regard to the above listed items. All candidates offered a position will be required to submit to a background and reference checks.